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Enchanted Kingdoms Review: Part 2

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This is the second review in a four-part series. If you missed the first part, you can  find it here . I completed the next five books in the Enchanted Kingdoms anthology  and was pretty disappointed. Every single adaptation in this section went for the dark gritty reboot version of the fairy tale ala Fate: The Winx Saga  instead of a creative contemporary retelling. They include vampires, ghosts, or werewolves, making these five fairy tales feel like Halloween horror on steroids instead of an enchanted world, as the title of the anthology would suggest. These stories encompass the rest of the ebook that is provided when you order this set on Amazon . The other ten books in the series are included in a download link that is provided at the end. Hopefully, those books will be more optimistic because dang, I thought I had turned cynical toward fairy tales, but I had nothing on these writers. Rumple's Revenge  by Craig Halloran This retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin"  starts ou

Review: The Princess Vow

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The Princess Vow  is the third book in the Kingdoms of Fable series by Erika Everest . It continues the story of the League of Princesses that began with Sienna in The Scarred Prince . Each book combines two seemingly unrelated fairy tales in a unique way. This one covers "Sleeping Beauty" and "Puss in Boots."  It is the second novel adaptation I have read of "Puss in Boots," but of course, I have read many adaptations of "Sleeping Beauty,"  which gives this one some big shoes to fill. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book as much if I hadn't read the first two books in Erika Everest's series. It does a good job of further developing the other princesses from the dream world and their relationships with each other but doesn't work well as a standalone due to a lack of conflict within the story. The Princess Vow  continues the theme of sisterhood from the Kingdoms of Fable series. It focuses on two princesses, who happen

Enchanted Kingdoms Review: Part 1

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The Enchanted Kingdoms box set  is a massive undertaking by the Enchanted Quill Press  to collect a large group of fairy tale authors to adapt 20 different fairy tales in an anthology to support an Puzzle Piece United , a children's autism charity. For a while, I was juggling with the idea of signing up to be one of the authors in this set, myself, and now I am kicking myself for not doing it. These 20 top tier books not only retell a multitude of beloved stories, but they do so in a unique and creative way that makes each one feel fresh and new. I haven't finished the entire set yet, so I decided that the best way to review it would be in chunks because I might forget the first few book by the time I get to the last one. Therefore, this will be the first post in a four-part series of mini reviews in which I summarize my thoughts on five books within this set. Before I begin, I have to say that it is absolutely worth the price for 20 full-length novels. Each one could easily th

These Fan-Made Music Videos Bring Back the Magic of Disney Princesses!

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If you've found the quality of Disney entertainment a bit lackluster lately, you aren't alone . There was barely any hype surrounding the  awesome new princess movie  they just launched on Disney+, especially compared to some of their previous movie openings . Of course, it isn't entirely their fault that they can't have big movie premieres during a time of lockdowns and safety measures , but combined with theme park closures, it leaves us feeling a little empty inside. Have no fear because fans will always be here  to bring back the pixie dust and excitement of the old days even when the studios are too busy counting their losses to notice. Last week brought two groups of powerhouse princess cosplayers  singing about the good old days and making some poignant observations on how Disney Princesses have evolved over the last few decades. Even though they were produced by different, though equally talented, independent studios, the videos perfectly illustrate the evoluti

Review: Time Princess - Little Women Visual Novel

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The Time Princess app  has been really picking up the pace with its releases of new visual novels.  Shadows of London  just wrapped up, and we already have a new story inspired by Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, Little Women . Both Little Women and Shadows of London take place in the 1800s, but the fashions and storytelling techniques are completely different due to the drastically opposite lives of their protagonists. Caroline from Shadows of London is a wealthy English debutant who wears glamorous gowns in the hopes of being courted during the social season, while Jo is an independent American career woman with a relatively low income. Though Little Women does not use the game's encyclopedia feature like Shadows of London to provide history lessons about the time period, the overall story and conclusion are a great deal more satisfying. The Little Women visual novel gives players an opportunity to step into the life of Jo, the most independent of the four March sisters fro

Review: Embers: Beastly Curses

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Last week, I received an advance copy of Embers: Beastly Curses  by Sky Sommers  in exchange for an honest review. This is the second book in a new fairy tale series called the Magic Mirrors Saga. I felt that there was a lot I missed by not reading the first book even though this one is supposed to work as a standalone. It is a creative and unique retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood,"  but it loses direction so many times that I wasn't sure which fairy tale I was supposed to be reading after I got several chapters in. Magic Mirrors reads like an ambitious attempt to reboot Once Upon a Time  with new fairy tale characters who are related in various ways, and it suffers from the same flaws as a result. The further I got, the more difficult it was to discern who the main character was supposed to be. It is unique for being the first time I've ever seen the "Red Riding Hood" character as a little boy, but the story is more focused on the wolf, Grace, while cons

Review: The Enchanted Crown

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The Enchanted Crown  is the fourth and final book in The Stolen Kingdom series by Bethany Atazadeh . This is an excellent book for fans of any other book in the series. As a fan of The Stolen Kingdom  and The Jinni Key , I was happy to catch up with Arie and Rena for one last adventure. I was less impressed with The Cursed Hunter , but Nesrin was not featured enough to detract from my interest in this conclusion.  The Enchanted Crown  contains chapters from the perspectives of all three protagonists and several love interests, which keeps the story moving at a quick pace. The variety of perspectives creates a unique reading format since the story itself is a pretty traditional "final battle" narrative. I recently noticed that the subtitle for this book claims that it is a "Sleeping Beauty" retelling. That claim is a bit of a stretch, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the novel itself. The Enchanted Crown  is the exciting climax of The Stolen Kingdom ,

Review: Time Princess - Shadows of London Visual Novel

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There have been many recent updates in the Dress Up! Time Princess app with the most notable being that they changed their name to simply Time Princess, which is how I will be referring to it from this point on. Another major update from this week was the second half of the latest visual novel, Shadows of London, a Victorian vampire story. This is the first visual novel in Time Princess that was released in two separate halves since I started playing it. I thought the wait time would be frustrating, but I found that it gave me ample time to craft the items I needed to access the new story levels so I wouldn't get stuck when the rest of the game was released. This is the easiest story I've played so far in Time Princess, but that might be because I've been playing it for so long. I was able to get through all the story levels from each of the two releases within a single evening. The main character in Shadows of London is Caroline Rayes, a young lady with a tragic past who

Review: Raya and the Last Dragon

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The newest Disney Princess to grace the silver screen is Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon . Since many theaters are still closed due to the pandemic, this is the second theatrical movie available to stream on Disney+ for an additional fee, the first being the live-action remake of  Mulan , which I did not think was worth the extra money for Premier Access. Raya is a worthwhile experience that recreates the magic of watching an animated Disney classic  in theaters for the first time, even though I watched it at home. It is full of magic, adventure, and heart with gorgeous visual imagery inspired by Southeast Asia. My biggest concern about this movie was that Raya would be a cookie-cutter independent warrior princess  with no personality, but I was pleased to learn that she is just as flawed and human as any other well-rounded protagonist. She share some traits with  Elena of Avalor , such as her overconfidence and trust issues but has a unique enough story to stand on her own. The t

How WandaVision Encapsulates the Disney Princess Dream

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WandaVision may seem like an unusual topic for a princess blog since it is a Marvel superhero show ( featuring an unusual couple ), but I have been in love with this show for the past few months and would argue that it has more in common with what the Disney Princess brand used to represent  than many recent Disney Princess movies . In fact, Wanda Maximoff acts more like a Disney Princess than the last original princess who graced the screen exclusively for  Disney+ .  Secret Society of Second-Born Royals  was Disney's attempt to combine their princess and superhero genres by introducing a world of superpowered royals. They missed the mark with Sam, who hated being a princess and just wanted to play punk rock music and fight bad guys, kind of like Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon , which also premiered today on Disney+. Wanda is a refreshing return to an older archetype that is almost never featured anymore of a troubled but well-meaning young woman who wants to live happily eve

Is Once Upon a Time Getting Rebooted?

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In late 2019, ABC greenlit a new romance drama  produced by  Eddy Kitsis  and  Adam Horowitz  about Disney and fairy tale characters living in an enchanted forest. If that sounds familiar to you, that's because it is the exact formula that was used to create the 2011 ABC drama, Once Upon a Time , and by the same producers, no less. Once Upon a Time's seventh season was treated as a reboot of sorts and was, in many people's opinion, when the Disney-owned fairy tale drama finally jumped the shark . Why, then, would they think it's a good idea to do it all over again? Disney's  behavior in recent years  shows a dearth of creativity, as does  Hollywood in general , so it isn't all that surprising that they would want to recreate a show that already has a fanbase, just as they've been tirelessly recreating their classic movies . However, the question remains that just because they can, does that mean they should? From an objective standpoint, Once Upon a Time wa

Sky Dancers Revisited

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Sky Dancer dolls were one of the most popular toys for girls in the '90s. They weren't princesses per se, but the dolls granted the fantasy of becoming a faery princess  and flying over a magical kingdom. Each one had a set of pastel dragonfly-like wings that spun around to launch the doll into the air at the pull of a string. The toys were so popular that they launched an animated series in 1996 under the same name. However, the dolls were more of a concept than a story, which made it difficult to streamline into one succinct set of characters with a direct conflict that they could resolve each week. In contrast, my favorite magical girl show  from that time period, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders , had a fleshed cast that allowed it to tell a strong story with an intriguing beginning, middle, and end. Though I collected toys from both series, I have much clearer memories of the plot and characters from Jewel Riders than Sky Dancers. Thanks to my friends at the Jewel